The Bishops

Fritz Beer (Schlitz) - Vocals, Guitar
Tim Bramstedt (Rockabye) - Guitar, Vocals
Ben Herzon (Blue Prints) - Bass, Vocals
Gus Kodros - Drums
Eric Harnetiaux (Capt. Harnetti) - Drums

Daniel Bull - Bass
Todd Admire - Bass
Reche - Drums
Bob Blodevogel -Drums

Article in The Beacon, St. Louis, MO

In some respects, The Bishops were the perfect rock band of their moment, constructed to the finest, exacting standards of their time. And that’s not some kind of gauzy remembrance, at least not completely. These days, live videos of theirs have started to be re-released to an audience perhaps too young to remember their original, spirited run through the clubs of the St. Louis region. But if those new-to-the-party young ‘uns understand the classic components of what rock music’s about, they’ll see and hear in these videos the same things we used to “get” about The Bishops.

Among the finest rock bands of this region over the past 25, or so, years, The Bishops could rightly lay claim to that well-worn riff: “We deserved a better fate.” While big in St. Louis (and, of course, their native Alton), they never fully found a welcoming audience beyond. But in talking to the group, the band seems to feel that they lived it the right way, playing a host of dates with St. Louis’ best-and-brightest, as well as the College Music Journal all-stars of their era.

Says the Nukes’ Chuck Lindo, “While the other guys were either slapping funk rock or using smoke machines (or both), these guys were yelling about Salvador Allende and African prisons. I defy you to find one thing about The Bishops that isn't timeless. I could not have been more in love with a band.”

A few members rolled through the group during their near-decade together, but most fans will recognize something of a “classic” lineup, with Fritz Beer on vocals, guitars and (smart) lyrics; Tim Bramstedt on lead guitar; Ben Herzon on bass and backing vocals; and Gus Kodros on drums. In response to my outreach, Beer, Bramstedt and Kodros sent responses that created something of a definitive oral history of the group.

By Thomas Crone, special to the Beacon, St. Louis MO.

Bishops BIO from IUMA

This is from IUMA - The Internet Underground Music Archive -

It seems like only the band and some employees are there. Beer, Bramstedt, Herzon, and Harnetaiux; 'the bishops,' are talking, moments before going on stage somewhere in Iowa:

Beer - Hey, you guys want to rock tonight?
Bramstedt - Well, it wouldn't be unheard of.
Beer - There's only two people here, should we go ahead and just pound'em over the head.
Herzon - Forget it, let's just jangle tonight.
Harnetaiux - No, lets go ahead and rock tonight.
Bramstedt - Okay.

the bishops by Eric Wiseman President, Grinder Records

'the bishops,' a four piece from that unlikely music mecca, Alton, IL. (see - Judge Nothing, Autumn Clock, Back of Dave etc...), have been doling out angry slaps and sweet caresses for several years now - not to mention playing some pretty good music. Big St. Louis underdog favorites, they spent the first part of their existence warming up stages for the likes of Poster Children, Smashing Pumpkin, The Connells, Soul Asylum, Uncle Tupelo and a butt load of other sort of Midwesty guitar bands. That's where they come from, lots of guitars, but also lots of words, some you can't even spell. Intelligent, crafty song writing with big gas guzzling amps, I guess that would describe them. Comparisons? They've been compared to everybody in that hybrid way that rock bands are compared; "a cross between Tom Petty and The Clash; a cross between The Replacements and the Rolling Stones; a cross between themselves and your mom". You know how all that works.

More recently the bishops have been recording albums, real indy projects that sound shitty but are great once your ears acclimate. The first was 'Farewell to Reason'. Aside from being a critical success and a marketing failure it was the first Compact Disc release from a local St. Louis Band (I know, so what). College radio, locally and nationally, played the hell out of it. The second album, 'Elf Killer', was a critical success and a marketing failure, though it does keep fighting its way onto the local sales charts after almost nine months, and, get this, its huge in Latvia. Even more recently the group has been in Chicago recording songs for an upcoming release. Two of those songs are here, ready for you to download, and hey, it don't cost nothing.

Finally, if you get the chance, you should see the bishops live, try Chicago or St. Louis. Like all great rock bands this is were they really put it in your mouth. It's why I put them on my little label.

For more info write to: 'the bishops' c/o Grinder Records PO BOX 702 Alton IL. 62002 618-462-0825

Send $10.00 to above address for either: Farewell to Reason CD or Elf Killer CD